Madelyn Walter, 96

Madelyn M. Walter, 96, of Columbia City, passed away peacefully at her son’s home Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 12:05 p.m. with her constant companion, her dog Nikki by her side.She was born April 4, 1917, in Columbia City, a daughter of Cecil S. and Faith Aretha (Miller) Phend. Her formative years were spent in Columbia City. She graduated from Columbia City High School with the Class of 1936. After graduating she began work at the former Blue Bell.She met her late husband, John R. Walter, on a high school blind date in 1937. The couple fell in love and became secretly engaged. On Dec. 24, 1939, they wed. Their first home was in North Manchester until her husband graduated from college. They then returned to Columbia City where Mr. Walter began his teaching and coaching career at Jefferson Center School. He died Oct. 19, 2011.Following World War II, the couple moved to Kokomo and then to Bloomington, where her husband advanced his teaching education. They then moved to Petroleum, Pleasant Lake and Auburn and finally Fort Wayne. In 1971 the couple moved to Troy Cedar Lake, Whitley County. In 1996, they moved into Columbia City.A full-time homemaker, her family and friends enjoyed many fine meals and baked goods prepared and served with love and a smile. She and her husband loved to travel and camp with the family, and had a special fondness for their grandchildren.She was a member of the Blue River Church of the Brethren. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy Lou Bewak of Fort Wayne; a son, Larry Michael (Becky) Walter of Columbia City; eight grandchildren, Christina (David) Roberts, Todd (Susie) Neff, Forrest (Sarah) Walter, Ryan (Kim) Walter, Kate (Pete) Copp, Sarah (Brandon) Marshall, Hallie Adams and Reed Adams; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Betty Pepple of Auburn and Josephine Halter of Fort Wayne. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Harold Phend and a sister, Evelyn Winebrenner.The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with Pastor Craig Myers officiating. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home and 1 hour prior to the service on Tuesday. Burial will be in the Christian Chapel Cemetery, Merriam.Preferred memorials are to Parkview Home Health and Hospice.Condolences may be sent to